Trinidad and Tobago

Dealing with Construction Permits in

Trinidad and Tobago

Below is a detailed summary of the procedures, time and costs to build a warehouse in Trinidad and Tobago. This includes obtaining necessary licenses and permits, completing required notifications and inspections and obtaining utility connections.

This information was collected as part of the Doing Business project, which measures and compares regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small- to medium-sized domestic business in 189 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2014. Read the methodology.

The indicator set on dealing with construction permits will be expanded in Doing Business 2016 to include an index that will measure good practices in construction regulation and assess the quality control and safety mechanisms in place for an economy’s construction permitting system, as well as the quality of the building regulations. This new index will become a component indicator of the ranking on dealing with construction permits. The new data were collected for 170 economies in 2014 and is available under the “Methodology Expansion” tab, below. The data are preliminary and do not have any impact on the Ease of Doing Business 2015 rankings. This data may differ from what will be published in Doing Business 2016.

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  • STANDARDIZED WAREHOUSE

  • Estimated cost of construction: TTD 5,054,239
  • City: Port of Spain
No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs
1 Obtain cadastral sheet
Agency: Land and Surveys Division of the Ministry of Housing, Land and Marine Resources

The Land and Surveys Division of the Ministry of Housing, Land and Marine Resources provides vertical and horizontal survey control services to land surveyors, engineers and to the general public on request. This service provides professionals with the coordinates required to perform cadastral, geodetic and topographical surveys, and to produce location maps.
It should be noted that the cadastral sheet is not always ideal as a location map, but it is a base map which various agencies use for plotting and cross-referencing of projects. A copy of the relevant cadastral sheet is therefore required in all submissions.
1 day no charge
2 Request outline planning permission
Agency: Town and Country Planning Division of the Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development

Outline planning permission should be obtained prior to applying for full planning permission. This permission informs an applicant whether or not the type of development proposed is consistent with the existing land use policy and provides overall development standards applicable to the site. Submission of an outline application reduces the risk of unnecessary expense in the preparation of plans and technical drawings for a development that may not be approved.

To obtain outline planning permission, BuildCo must submit the following documents to the regional office responsible for the area concerned:

• Two copies of the completed “outline application form” (TCP/3). An Outline application form (TCP/3) can be obtained ‘online’ or from the nearest regional office
• Two copies of a location sketch with sufficient information for the site to be clearly and positively identified in the field.. Information such as the plot number, postal address, number of the nearest light pole or mile mark, prominent landmark, culvert, and other similar information, are useful on location sketches
• A copy of the cadastral sheet indicating the sheet reference and the area proposed for development
• A copy of the deed or oldest and latest tenancy receipts, and survey plan relating to the parcel of land to be developed

While detailed plans and drawings are not required at this stage, a conceptual plan of the proposed development may be provided.

Upon submission, the application is appointed a reference number and an acknowledgement slip is issued. This reference number is plotted on the Division’s cadastral and layout sheets and all relevant cross references are filed with the application. The Development Control Inspector from the Town and Country Planning Division visits the site to collect information pertaining to the application. An evaluation and report are then submitted with the application for consideration. A notice of grant or refusal of outline planning permission is prepared and sent by mail to the applicant. An application is processed within a 2-month period.
60 days no charge
* 3 Receive inspection and obtain outline planning permission
Agency: Town and Country Planning Division of the Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development

1 day no charge
4 Obtain approval of sewerage and water project from the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA)
Agency: Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA)

The New Services Department administers the approval of water and wastewater services to new buildings and developments.
35 days TTD 650
* 5 Receive inspection from the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) and receive an estimate for connection costs
Agency: Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA)

The Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) inspects the site to prepare an estimate of the connection costs.
1 day no charge
* 6 Obtain approval from the Fire Department
Agency: Fire Department

30 days no charge
7 Obtain full planning permission
Agency: Town and Country Planning Division of the Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development

Full planning permission must be obtained from the Town and Country Planning Division of the Ministry of Planning and Development before any development of land is physically undertaken on the site.

For full planning permission, applicants are required to submit the following documents to the regional office responsible for the area concerned:

• Four copies of the completed application form for permission to develop land (TCP/1)
• Four copies of a location sketch with sufficient information for the site to be clearly and positively identified in the field. Information such as the plot number, postal address, number of the nearest light pole, mark of the nearest mile post, prominent landmark, culvert and other similar information, are useful on location sketches.
• Four copies of all plans and drawings that describe the proposed development (as applicable). All drawings are to be drawn at an appropriate scale for legibility and easy handling.
• Location and site plan showing the north sign.
• Copy of deed and survey plan for the site proposed for development.
• Floor plans and foundation plans
• Elevations and sections
• Structural drawings
• Isometric drawings (for sewered buildings)
• Electrical drawings (for nonresidential buildings)
• Two copies of the completed application form for the utilization of land (LHA-2), which should be forwarded to the local authority. These forms can be obtained from the municipal corporation responsible for the area concerned.

Upon submission, the application is appointed a reference number and an acknowledgement slip is issued. This reference number is plotted on the Division’s cadastral and layout sheets and all relevant cross references are filed with the application. The Development Control Inspector from the Town and Country Planning Division visits the site to collect information pertaining to the application. An evaluation and report are then submitted with the application for consideration. The applicant is usually notified by mail within a 2-month period whether full planning permission has been granted.

Full planning permission may be granted unconditionally, or may be subject to specified conditions. Where planning permission is subject to conditions or refused, the reasons for the decision taken are included in a Notice of Determination. Failure to provide proper information will result in the application being returned to the applicant undetermined.

It is possible for several applications for different types of development to be submitted for one property and get approved. Each of these planning permissions remains valid, unless otherwise specified, and in principle a developer may choose the one(s) they intend to implement.

The statutory period to respond to applicants according to the TCP Act is 2 months. This deadline is not usually observed.

90 days no charge
8 Notify Regional Corporation of the completion of construction
Agency: Regional Corporation

BuildCo notifies the Regional Corporation once it completes construction of the warehouse so that it may be inspected.
1 day no charge
9 Receive final inspection from the Regional Corporation
Agency: Regional Corporation

The Regional Corporation inspects the warehouse to verify whether it was completed according to the specifications.
1 day no charge
10 Receive inspection and final approval from the Fire Department
Agency: Fire Department

1 day TTD 200
11 Obtain building completion certificate
Agency: Regional Corporation

The Regional Corporation will send the completion certificate to BuildCo after the inspection.
14 days TTD 1,000
* 12 Obtain water and sewage connection
Agency: Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA)

For the drawings' submission the company would need a licensed plumber to submit the documents. The plumber does not have any other specific tasks other than submitting the plans. Often times, the drawings are not even done by the plumber.
60 days TTD 2,927
13 Obtain water and sewage completion certificate
Agency: Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA)

1 day no charge
  * Takes place simultaneously with another procedure.
Answer
Building code/regulations
Which requirements to obtain a building permit are clearly specified by the building regulations (including the building code), any regulations dealing with construction permits or any accessible website, brochure or pamphlet? List of required documents to submit; Fees to be paid; Required preapprovals by all relevant agencies
Where are the building regulations (including the building code) or any regulations dealing with construction permits accessible? Available for purchase
Quality control before construction
Which entities are required to verify that the architectural plans/drawings for a private construction are in compliance with existing building regulations? Government agency
Who is part of the committee or team that reviews and approves building permit applications in the relevant permit-issuing agency? Licensed engineer; A civil servant who is not an architect or engineer
Quality control during construction
What type of mandatory inspections (if any) are required by law to be carried out during construction? Inspections at certain stages of construction
Do legally mandated inspections occur in practice during construction? Mandatory inspections are done in practice.
Quality control after construction
Is there a final inspection required by law to verify that the building was built in accordance with the approved plans and existing building regulations or is a final report / sign-off required by a supervising engineer? Yes
Do legally mandated final inspections occur in practice? Final inspection is done in practice.
Liability/insurance regimes
Which parties (if any) are held liable by law for structural flaws/problems in the building once it is in usage? Architect or engineer; The construction company
Which parties (if any) are required to obtain an insurance policy to cover possible structural flaws/problems in the building once it is in usage? The architect or engineer; The construction company
Professional certification and controls
What are the qualification requirements for the architect or engineer in charge of verifying that the architectural plans/drawings are in compliance with existing building regulations? University degree in architecture or engineering
What are the qualification requirements for the professional who supervises the construction on the ground? There are no specific requirements.

  Please send any comments and inputs on the data above to rru@worldbank.org

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